Atopic eczem a
is a chronic, superficial
inflammation that occurs in people with
an inherited tendency towards
The condition is common in babies. An
intensely itchy rash occurs, usually on
the face, in the elbow creases, and be-
hind the knees. The skin often scales,
and small red pimples may appear. For
help keep the
skin soft. In severe cases,
ointments may be used.
may reduce itching. Excluding
certain foods from the diet may be
helpful. Atopic eczema often clears up
on its own as a child grows older.
Nummular eczema usually occurs in
adults. The cause is unknown. It pro-
duces circular, itchy, scaling patches
anywhere on the skin, similar to those
(ringworm). Topical cortico-
steroids may reduce the inflammation,
but the disorder is often persistent.
Hand eczema is usually caused by irri-
tant substances such as detergents, but
may occur for no apparent reason. Itchy
blisters develop, usually on the palms,
and the skin may become scaly and
cracked. Hand eczema usually improves
if emollients are used and cotton gloves
with rubber gloves over them are worn
when coming into contact with irritants.
If the eczema is severe, corticosteroids
may be prescribed.
Stasis eczema occurs in people with
The skin on the legs may
become irritated, inflamed, and discol-
oured. The most important factor is
swelling of the legs, which may be con-
trolled with compression bandages or
stockings. Ointments containing corti-
costeroids may give temporary relief.
EDD The abbreviation for expected date
of delivery, the date on which a baby is
due to be born. The EDD is calculated
as 40 weeks from the first day of the
woman's last menstrual period (see
1). In practice, babies are
rarely born exactly on their EDD.
edentulous Without teeth.
EEG The abbreviation for electroenceph-
alography, a method of recording the
activity of the
A trace of the activ-
ity is displayed on a monitor or printed
out on a moving strip of paper. In an
EEG, a number of small electrodes are
attached to the
and connected to
an instrument that records the minute
electrical impulses that are produced by
the brain's activity. By revealing charac-
teristic wave patterns, an EEG can help